Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - Update 4

Before surgery

After surgery

Today has been a busy day. Phil got to Ann Arbor around 12:30 this morning. Because the weather was getting nasty, he decided to head over after he got the kids put back to bed at home.

We got to the hospital at 6:15 this morning. Caleb was awake and in a good mood. After they weighed and measured him, I put a hospital gown on him and the nurse gave me a heated blanket to keep him warm. Within one minute of wrapping him in the blanket and snuggling him onto my lap, he was asleep. We filled out paperwork and met with the surgeon. The anaesthetist that came to get Caleb to take him to surgery was a woman and she carried Caleb in her arms instead of putting him in a crib and wheeling him out. Caleb smiled at her and was perfectly fine with this. Phil and I were so relieved that he left without being scared or screaming. I didn't even cry! This set the tone for our whole day. I felt a peace that I had not felt with the other surgeries. Caleb has gained so much strength in the past couple of months and now we know just how tough he is.

There was a young couple also sending their baby off for heart surgery and they were very anxious. We all headed up to the waiting area and Phil and I tried to make small talk with them. They weren't very talkative, so we dropped it. We finished our paperwork and went to the cafeteria for our usual "Caleb is off to surgery" breakfast. Unfortunately, we now have a surgery routine.

When we settled back in the waiting room and got our first report, the young couple realized we also had a baby in for heart surgery. They explained that they didn't talk to us this morning because they assumed we were social workers or something because we were so calm. Phil and I thought this was funny - we have been in their situation four times before and now know the drill so we weren't as scared. We had a long chat with them after they realized that we understood what they were going through.

We got to go back to see Caleb around 2:15. Phil didn't recognize him and walked right past his bed. His head is quite swollen and he looked like the hospital Caleb, not the home Caleb. Caleb's body is now adjusting to the new method of sending blood to his lungs. This will cause his head to swell some and it may turn bluish until everything settles out. He will also probably get a very nasty headache for several days. Luckily, the headache is so common that everyone is on the lookout for it and will work to manage his pain.

Caleb was slightly agitated when he got back for recovery and his blood pressure was higher than they like it. They increased his morphine to control his pain and gave him a drug that is very similar to the one that he took at home for his blood pressure. His morphine dose is quite high, but they think that he has a drug tolerance built up as a result of his previous surgeries. No one is particularly concerned.

Caleb recieved some blood because his hematocrit level wwa low. He also got some potassium because his electrolytes were a little bit off. Other than that, everything is right where it is supposed to be.

When the doctors rounded tonight, they discussed Caleb's breathing. Right now, he is on the ventilator from the surgery. He was doing so well, they started to reduce his breathing support. So far, he has tolerated this well. They will keep trying to wean his support to a point where they can allow him to try to breathe on his own. If he passes his breathing tests, he can be extubated. The understanding I am getting is that they would not be surprised if he got extubated tomorrow. They think that he will be a happier camper without the breathing tube if he can handle it.

Everyone has been very happy with how today went for Caleb. Maybe you can get better at heart surgery with practice!

Phil and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and words of support. We are so lucky to have such a network of people praying for and pulling for Caleb.


  1. Thank you for all of the updates today! I am thankful that all of the news from the East side has been good and we look forward to seeing the big flirt home and happy. We love you!

    Sarah, Sean, Josh, and Grace

  2. I am soo thankful to have followed your updates today THANK YOU. I have also kept Gabby updated on how her friend Caleb was doing she smiled at me so I think she remembers him. So glad you could be there for another set of parents but I am not at all surprised since I know how you helped us. Still praying for all of you.